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One of life’s most rewarding experiences is collecting fine art, and sometimes it’s best to take a little more time to make these acquisitions with ease. We understand and want to do everything possible to make collecting your next artwork more comfortable. At Coastal Peoples Gallery, we offer an interest-free layaway program and offer flexible terms which can be customized to your individual needs.
Robert “Skip” Saunders is a Nuxalk artist and hereditary Chief who comes from a family of accomplished carvers. He was born in Kimsquit, which is located at the mouth of the Dean River in British Columbia. Kimsquit is the ancestral village of the Saunders family.
Robert began carving at the age of seven and, like his father before him, is largely self-taught. He carves primarily in red Cedar wood, creating masks and plaques that are inspired by the supernatural beings found in Nuxalk oral traditions. Robert considers his artistic style to be a mix of traditional and contemporary, and he is known for his clean lines and attention to detail.
As the grandson of Chief Joe Saunders and the son of Arthur Saunders, Robert’s talented creations should come as no surprise. Joe Saunders was a legendary boat and canoe builder, while Arthur was a traditional artist and a former recipient of the ‘Native Artist Fellowship Award’ from the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian. Robert passed on his knowledge and skill to his own son, Sesyaz Saunders, who has established himself as a highly skilled artist in his own right.
In 2005, the Saunders Chieftainship, formerly held by Arthur Saunders’ older brother, was passed down to Robert. At this time, he also received the name XimXimlayc, or “Bringer of the Morning Light.” He continues to preside as the hereditary Chief of the Sutslhmc territory today.
Norman Tait’s exceptional Sun Hawk Mask stems from his father’s clan, the Tlingit Nation ancestry, and primarily represents one of his father’s family crest figures. While this exquisite mask depicts elements of a human face, the additional features, such as the beak, allude to its supernatural connection. Constructed from Alder wood, the wood’s unique grain is a strong element within the design and is used to exemplify the mask’s delicate human-like structure. Furthermore, the addition of acrylic paint and the stark horsehair locks add life to this Humanized Supernatural-being.
This Welcome Figure portrait mask, based on a Nuu chah nulth mask from the 1850’s, would be danced during a ceremonial welcome song which belongs to the David family of the Tla-O-Qui-Aht clan. Smoked elk hide has been rigged to the back of the piece to hold it securely in place when being danced.